Eclipse Science Series: Total Eclipse of the Sun 2024

Craig Williams
February 15, 2024
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Martha W. Farmer Theatre for the Performing Arts

About this event

Craig H. Williams, Senior Aerospace Engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center

Williams’ presentation explains the total solar eclipse that will span the continental United States, approximately from Texas to New York. The path of maximum totality will cut across Ohio, including the Lima area. The physics and geometry of an eclipse will be explained, including the relative motion of the moon, Earth and sun. Also covered will be the continued importance of eclipses to the scientific community, as well as the importance of this particular eclipse. Safe watching sources of information will be provided.

Speaker's bio

Over 39 years of civilian and military experience in project management and engineering design for space launch vehicles, advanced space propulsion, space power systems, and related aerospace systems analyses

 Senior Aerospace Engineer in the Chemical and Thermal Propulsion branch. Leads and supports new initiatives in In-situ Resource Utilization, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, and Human Lunar Landing System programs, particularly in commercial and national defense applications. (Oct 2023 to present)

Deputy Chief Safety Officer for Power and Propulsion Element supporting the Human Lunar Return to the Moon (Artemis Program) (Oct 2022 to Sept 2023)

Co-Chairman of Propellant Transfer Working Group for Human Landing System program (Oct 2020 to Oct 2022). Identify technical risks associated with on-orbit propellant transfer and flight operations. Also representative for testing and risk for Main and RCS propulsion systems.

Project Manager leading NASA support to DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) reusable rocket program (Nov 2013 to Sep 2020) across seven Centers. NASA Lead and Subject Matter Expert for trajectory, mass properties, upper stage, technology, workforce allocation, and programmatics. Twice source selection team member. Alternate contracting officer representative for XSP.

New Business Development in Space Flight Systems Directorate at NASA GRC (Dec 2011 to Oct 2013): initiated new, strategic partnerships with DOD and other federal entities. Oversaw NASA HQ Science Mission Directorate research tasks.

Senior Project Leader of Systems Analysis at NASA HQ Level II Radioisotope Power Systems Program Office at GRC (Jun 2008 to Nov 2011): Power balance/analysis of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Multi-Mission RTG. Oversaw streamlining of Launch Approval Engineering (nuclear) process.

Senior Project Engineer at Constellation Systems Project Office at GRC (Sep 2004 to May 2008): Self-initiated team lead of alternate Trans-Lunar Injection Stage concept. Initiated and lead proposal team for USAF Operationally Responsive Space program.

Project Manager for space propulsion research in high thrust, nuclear fusion concepts at Space Transportation Project Office at NASA GRC (Oct 1996 to Aug 2004). Led/oversaw four NASA / DOE / university teams in vehicle & propulsion system conceptual design, propulsive hot-fire experiment, theoretical analysis of magnetic nozzle, and AIAA standard. Derived novel trajectory design algorithm for interplanetary missions.

Lead Aerospace Engineer in Advanced Space Analysis Office; NASA Lewis (LeRC) (Aug 1992 to Sep 1996): Mission Design Panel Chairman for Titan IV-Cassini to Saturn launch for trajectory design, performance optimization, and range safety. Assessment of nuclear-safe parking orbit used for launch. HQ Liaison for new upper stage concepts. 

Program Manager (Aug 1991 to Jul 1992) at NASA Headquarters Space Shuttle Program Office: assisted in creating Vulnerability Assessment Methodology and authored program-level policy for Assured Shuttle Availability Program. Technical Policy Analyst at Plans and Programs Office supporting Congressional Affairs.

Aerospace Engineer: at Advanced Space Analysis Office, LeRC (Dec 1987 to Jul 1991): Flight Design Working Group Chairman for Atlas/Centaur-69 launch of CRRES mission: payload integration, mission/trajectory analysis, and launch team member at CCAFS. Led chemical space engine assessment and upper stage studies.

Captain USAF:  Manager of Titan IV systems engineering for launch vehicle development program, USAF HQ Space Division, LA AFB (Nov 1986 to Nov 1987). Oversaw trajectory design, performance analysis, and range safety analysis for five booster/upper stage configurations. Led major contract fact finding sub-team. Liaison for several national security payload missions.

1st, 2nd Lieutenant USAF: USAF Det. OLAC at NASA LeRC (Nov 1983 to Nov 1986): Shuttle/Centaur upper stage development engineer (trajectory and performance analysis) for Galileo to Jupiter and a national security mission. INTELSAT VA on Atlas/Centaur-63 launch team member at CCAFS.

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